Dr. Randall J. McDermott is a chemical scientist in the Engineered Fire Safety Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. McDermott accepted a staff position at the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland in July 2008. His research focuses on general improvements to the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), including: parallel scaling, hydrodynamics, scalar transport, turbulence/chemistry interaction, and the development of embedded mesh and immersed boundary methods.
Dr. McDermott first joined BFRL as a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral research associate in January of 2007 under the supervision of Dr. William (Ruddy) Mell. The focus of Dr. McDermott's postdoctoral research was to address issues related to domain decomposition and parallelization in FDS.
Dr. McDermott's background is in subgrid-scale (SGS) modeling and numerical methods for large-eddy simulation (LES). While at the University of Utah under the supervision of Prof. Philip J. Smith, Dr. McDermott developed a formulation for coupling LES with Alan Kerstein's "one-dimensional turbulence" (ODT) model (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA). He also studied the energy conservation properties of Runge-Kutta time discretizations for incompressible flow and has extended this analysis to variable-density flows.
After graduate school at Utah and prior to joining NIST, Dr. McDermott did a post-doc with Prof. Stephen B. Pope at Cornell University where he developed a formulation for treating differential diffusion in filtered density function (FDF) methods. His work at Cornell also addressed issues related to Lagrangian particle advection and mass consistency requirements for FDF methods.
From 1994-1999, after attaining his B.S. from the University of Tulsa, Dr. McDermott worked for John Zink Co. in Tulsa, OK, where he tested and developed low-NOx burners for the petro-chemical industry.
Fire Research Division
Engineered Fire Safety
The University of Utah, Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 2005
The University of Tulsa, B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1994